Husqvarna Factory MXGP riders Todd Waters and Dean Ferris have spent much of their racing lives as one of each other‰Ûªs fiercest rivals, but that history will be the furthest thing from their minds when they unite under the green and gold for this year‰Ûªs Motocross of Nations.
The pair will be joined on the Aussie squad by newly crowned Australian MX2 champion Jay Wilson when the event takes place at ErnÌ©e in France on September 26/27.
Waters, from Cairns in North Queensland, and Ferris from Kyogle in northern New South Wales, have a long-standing rivalry which started in 2006 when both riders were in their last year of juniors, and busting to make a name for themselves on the national scene.
The fierceness of their competition probably peaked in 2010 when Waters was a factory rider and Ferris a privateer rider for the same brand, and their numerous comings together exemplified the old racing axiom - the first guy you have to beat is your teammate.
Now as full-time professionals on the world's biggest stage, the pair is able to keep rivalries within the confines of the racetrack where they both ride for factory Husqvarna teams in the MX GP World Championship.
Waters, who rides for the Red Bull Ice One Husqvarna factory racing team and currently sits 10th in this year‰Ûªs World Championship on his Husqvarna FC450, has twice previously represented Australia at the MXoN, but missed last year's event due to injury.
‰ÛÏTo be picked to represent your country is always a special thing. It‰Ûªs something every rider dreams of and trains so hard to be a part of." Waters commented. "This year‰Ûªs MXoN is going to be a ripper event.
"I have been told a bunch of Aussies are coming this year to support the team and I think with Dean, Jay and myself we have a strong team.
"For me this is my first season racing in Europe and with all the tracks being new to me I think it‰Ûªs no different with French MXoN track. I have had some good results this year and with Dean and Jay as team mates I think we have a strong team. With a little luck on our side I'm sure a good result will come.
"Dean and I have been racing closely for years now and have had our problems as any rivals do. But we have a strong rivalry and respect that. We get on fine and it‰Ûªs not the first time we have been team mates in green and gold.
"I have been friends with Jay for a long time now and am pumped for him to make the team and be able to experience the special feeling of racing the MXoN. Overall I think we have a great team and I‰Ûªm pumped to go racing.‰Û